I recently spent a few days volunteering with a woman from France. During the time we were together, we got to know one another. Her presence immediately intrigued me. Through casual conversation, I learned she had left behind a prestigious job with a comfortable salary because she was seeking more satisfaction from life. With a deep desire to explore the world, encounter as many cultures as possible and be a part of humanity outside the borders of her home country, she made the choice to leave the confines of familiarity. So she quit her job and set out to replenish her soul by exploring the world. I met her 1.5 years into her journey, after she had already traveled several continents.

What drew me to her was her courage to leave the habitual ordinary and embark on a path of extraordinary. In each country, she found opportunities to volunteer, immersing herself into the needs of the moment. She remained present with each endeavor, simultaneously remaining open to growth. This trailblazer carried the energy of confidence, humility and compassion. I felt so comfortable around her; wanting to learn more, want to be more. And she remained in my thoughts long after my short volunteering stint was over.

After some reflection, I came to realize why she had made such an impact on me… She was living with authenticity. Instead of conforming her life to a prestigious job that was giving her lots of money but not making her happy, she did the opposite. She volunteered her time for no money, yet found so much contentment with each moment. She defined happiness in her terms. And she came to a truth about this life: Money does not fulfill the human spirit. But following your dreams, whatever they may be, does.

This was why she was so comfortable and confident. This was why her energy was so inspiring. To be inspired is to be in spirit. And she was living in the truth of her spirit each day. She awakened encouragement and innovation within me, just merely by being. It’s a very powerful mode of existence.

When you find what makes you truly happy, and live your life in pursuit of your dreams, you will shine within a crowd. And your radiating energy will attract people and opportunities to you. Just think, people are more inclined to walk along the side of the street with sunshine and warmth versus an enclosed alley with no light, lacking amiability. The same is true for people’s energies.

Openness and courage with your journey will pave a path to authenticity. Authenticity will lead to happiness, purpose and connection. Happiness, purpose and connection bond the human experience. Your life will not only be enriched, but you will shine your light on all whom you cross paths with, inspiring them to be more, to do more. Be a vehicle for change, merely by Being Yourself.